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204
HYPNOTISM


latter to respond also to the suggestions of other-persons. If left to himself the hypnotized subject will usually awake to his normal state after a period which is longer in proportion to the depth of hypnosis; and the deeper stages seem to pass over into normal sleep. The subject can in almost every case be brought quickly back to the normal state by the verbal command of the operator.

The Principal Ejecls produced by Suggestion during H ypnosis.-The subject may not only be rendered incapable of contracting any of the muscles of the voluntary system, but may also be made to use them with extraordinarily great or sustained force (though by no means in all cases). He can with difficulty refrain from performing any action commanded by the operator, and usually carries out any simple command without hesitation. Any one of the sense-organs, or any sensory region such as the skin or deep tissues of one limb may be rendered anaesthetic by verbal suggestion, aided perhaps by some gentle manipulation of the part. On this fact dependsithe surgical application of hypnotism. Sceptical observers are always inclined to doubt the genuineness of the anaesthesia produced by a mere word of command, but the number of surgical operations performed under hypnotic anaesthesia suffices to put its reality beyond all question. A convincing experiment may, however, be made on almost any good subject. Anaesthesia of one eye may be suggested and its reality tested in the following way. Anaesthesia of the left eye may be suggested, and the subject be instructed to on a distant point and to give some signal as soon the operator's finger in the peripheral field of operator then brings his finger slowly from behind right forwards towards the subject's line of si ht fix his gaze

as he sees

view. The

and to the ¢ g .

The subject signals as soon as it crosses the normal temporal boundary of the field of view of the right eye. The operator then brings his finger forward from a point behind and to the left of the subject's head. The subject allows it to cross the monocular field of the left eye and signals only when the finger enters the held of vision of the right eye across its nasal boundary. Since few persons, other than physiologists or medical men, are aware of the relations of the boundaries of the monocular and binocular fields of vision, the success of this experiment affords proof that the linger remains invisible to the subject during its passage across the monocular field of the left eye. The abolition of pain, especially of neuralgia's, the pain of rheumatic and other inflammations, which is one of the most valuable applications of hypnotism, is an effect closely allied to the production of such anaesthesia.

It has often been stated that in hypnosis the senses may be rendered extraordinarily acute or hyper aesthetic, so that impressions too faint to affect the senses of the normal person may be perceived by the hypnotized subject; but in view of the fact that most observers are ignorant of the normal limits of sensitivity and discrimination, all such statements must be received with caution, until we have more convincing evidence than has yet been brought forward.

Positive and Negative H hallucinations are among the most striking effects of hypnotic suggestion. A good subject may be made to experience an hallucinatory perception of almost any object, the more easily the less unusual and out of harmony with the surroundings is the suggested object. He may, e.g., be given a blank card and asked if he thinks it a good photograph of himself. He may then assent and describe the photograph in some detail, and, what is more astonishing, he may pick out the card as the one bearing the photograph, after it has been mixed with other similar blank cards. This seems to be due to the part played by points de repére, insignificant details of surface or texture, which serve as an objective basis around which the hallucinatory image is constructed by the pictorial imagination of the subject. A negative hallucination may be induced by telling the subject that a certain object or person is no longer present, when he ignores in every way that object or person. This is more puzzling than the positive hallucination and will be referred to again in discussing the theory of hypnosis. Both kinds of hallucination tend to be systematically and logically developed; if, c.g., the subject is told that a certain person is no longer visible, he may become insensitive to impressions made on any sense by that person.

Delusions, or false beliefs as to their present situation or past experiences may be induced in many subjects. On being assured that he is some other person, or that he is in some strange situation, the subject may accept the suggestion and adapt his behaviour with great histrionic skill to the induced delusion. It is probable that many, perhaps all, subjects are vaguely aware, as we sometimes are in dreams, that the delusions and hallucinations they experience are of an unreal nature. In the lighter stages of hypnosis a subject usually remembers the events of his waking life, but in the deeper stages he is apt, while remembering the events of previous hypnotic periods, to be incapable of recalling his normal life, but in this respect, as also in respect to the extent to which on awaking he remembers the events of the hypnotic period, the suggestions of the operator usually play a determining part.

Among the organic changes that have been produced by hypnotic suggestion are slowing or acceleration of the cardiac and respiratory rhythms; rise and fall of body-temperature through two or three degrees; local erythema and even inflammation of the skin with vesication or exudation of small drops of blood; evacuation of the bowel and vomiting; modihcations of the secretory activity of glands, especially of the sweat-glands. Post-hypnotic Effects.-Most subjects in whom any appreciable degree of hypnosis can be induced show some susceptibility to post-hypnotic suggestion, i.e.they may continue to be influenced, when restored to the fully waking state, by suggestions made during hypnosis, more especially if the operator suggests that this shall be the case; as a rule, the deeper the stage of hypnosis reached, the more effective are post-hypnotic suggestions. The therapeutic applications of hypnotism depend in the main upon this post-hypnotic continuance of the working of suggestions. If a subject' is told that on awaking, or on a certain signal, or after the lapse of a given interval of time from the moment of awaking, he will perform a certain action, he usually feels some inclination to carry out the suggestion at the appropriate moment. If he remembers that the action has been suggested to him he may refuse to perform it, and if it is one repugnant to his moral nature, or merely one that would make him appear ridiculous, he may persist in his refusal. But if the action is of a simple and ordinary nature he will usually perform it, remarking that he cannot be comfortable till it is done. If the subject was deeply hypnotized and remembers nothing of the hypnotic period, he will carry out the post-hypnotic suggestion in almost every case, no matter how complicated or absurd it may be, so long as it is not one from which his normal self would be extremely averse; and he will respond appropriately to the suggested signals, although he is not conscious of their having been named, he will often perform the action in a very natural way, and will, if questioned, give some more or less adequate reason for it. Such actions, determined by post-hypnotic suggestions of which no conscious memory remains, may be carried out even after the lapse of many weeks or even months. Inhibitions of movement, anaesthesia, positive and negative hallucinations, and delusions may also be made to persist for brief periods after the termination of hypnosis; and organic effects, such as the action of the bowels, the oncoming of sl eep and the cessation of pain, may be determined by post-hypnotic suggestion. In short, it may be said that in a good subject all the kinds of suggestion which will take effect during hypnosis will also be effective if given as posti hypnotic suggestions.,

Theory of the Hypnotic State.-*Very many so called theories of hypnosis have been propounded, but few of them demand serious consideration. One author ascribes all the symptoms to cerebral anaemia, another to cerebral congestion, a third to temporary suppression of the functions of the cerebrum, a fourth to abnormal cerebral excitability, a fifth to the independent functioning of one hemisphere. Another seeks to explain all the facts by saying that in hypnosis our normal consciousness disappears

and is replaced by a dream-consciousness; and yet